It was the late American poet and rights activist, Maya Angelou who once said that, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” It is in an attempt to breathe courage into the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC that the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle stepped on big toes that has resulted in the on-going machinations, mudslinging, character assassination and defamation of a hard earned reputation.
For daring to challenge the free reign of impunity in the ruling party, especially, during the last party primaries, in which Comrade Oshiomohle stood his ground that due process must be followed, and, which culminated in the colossal failure of few disgruntled elements in the party, Nigerians have been inundated with spurious allegations of ‘bribery for ticket’ against the national chairman.
To help lend credence to their treacherous plot, a section of the media was lured and blackmailed into supporting the hatchet games of giving Oshiomohle a bad name in order to hang him. But like Charlotte Bronte said, “I am no bird; and no net ensnare me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” This has been the disposition of the national chairman so far. He has demonstrated thus far, to the utter consternation of his distractors, who despite all the blabbing in the media space are surprised at the calm and assertive mien Comrade Oshiomohle still enjoys.
Come to think of it, the staggering figures that have been bandied around since this whole charade started is laughable. How can Comrade Oshiohmole, who over the last two decades, has earned reputation for uprightness and rugged adherence to due process and course of justice descend so low as to sell party ticket, in order to stand merit on its head? Certainly, if he is what his detractors wants us to now believe he is, he wouldn’t have mustered the moral courage to stand the federal government carrots dangled before him, in order to compromise as a labour leader in Nigeria’s trying times. His will power to challenge the federal might, then, was because he did not ensnare himself.
We all know where that credibility and uprightness landed him. It earned him the highest office in his home state of Edo as governor for two terms. Against all odds, as governor, Oshiomohle demonstrated what is possible with credible leadership. For all intent and purposes, that was what also earned him the position of the national chairman of the ruling APC. Knowing his pedigree and antecedents, it is clear that Comrade Oshiomohle’s detractors are only seeking vengeance against him because he chooses to remain on the side of truth. Who will blame the national chairman for opting for the truth? Knowing what standing on the side of the truth has earned him in life, he will rather pitch tent with it, irrespective of the cost. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters,” Oshiomohle has spoken truth to power and cannot change the working tactics that earned him one of the envious positions, in the middle of the game.
Given the massive support that the national chairman has continued to amassed, even in the face of these spurious allegations, it is obvious that the aggrieved members should adopt another workable method, which is seeking redress through the available judicial window. Or take the part of honour to sheath their swords, work with the national chairman to ensure APC’s victory in the forthcoming elections.
Comrade Oshiomohle will certainly not be subdued by these well-orchestrated falsehoods; however, its continuation is a huge distraction to the smooth running of his office. For one, if these merchants of mischief continue the way they are going, at some point the party should be tempted to question their motives. Who knows, if they are working for the opposition? Some APC faithful are beginning to muffle this idea, given that the accused, comrade Oshiomohle has challenged his accusers many times to come up with ‘credible’ evidences to prove that he collected money in exchange for ticket. The best they have done so far, each time, is to run to the friendly media to further spread new flimsy and baseless allegations.
The way a section of the media has conducted itself in the whole bribery allegation against Oshiomohle, still leaves much to be desired. It has allowed itself to be used many times to paddle unsubstantiated allegations without a resort to their core mandate of investigative findings. The way Oshiomohle’s accusers has sustained their campaign of calumny to decimate the hard earned credibility of Comrade Oshiomohle, few things are becoming clear. One, they have deep pockets from where to buy consciences. Two, they are well entrenched in the crocked and corrupt method of manipulating public opinion against their victims.
These factors explain why they have successfully lured, a disgruntled section of the media to execute their hatchet job. However, the media must know that, it earned the greater press freedom it is enjoying today, through tears, sweat and blood, and should not allow a section of the noble profession to trivialise it. Like the challenge of the Australian Computer Programmer, and editor of Wikileak Julian Asange to journalists “Reality is an aspect of property. It must be seized. And investigative journalism is the noble art of seizing reality back from the powerful.”
On the note of caution by Julian Asange, the section of the press that has offered itself as a channel for these mischief makers must quickly redeem their image by conducting thorough investigations into the spurious allegations being bandied around by those who wants Oshiomohle’s head at all cost. When they do, objectivity, which is the hallmark of the noble profession of journalism will prevail.
Now that the president has launched his re-election campaigns, detractors will do well to let discussions move to the ‘next level,’ instead of still camping around their failed bid to decimate, discredit and remove Comrade Oshiomohle from office. The national chairman, as one of the strategic stakeholders in President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid to retain power beyond 2019, any further distractions from this recalcitrant group will ultimately have some untold effect on the smooth running of the campaigns. On his part, President Buhari, as the leader of APC, must demonstrate at once, that he has had enough of this charade and falsehood. Those whose rise in politics is tied to pulling others down should give Comrade Oshiomohle a chance to execute his lofty ideal of reforming the APC.
As Abraham Lincoln noted very long time ago, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Oshiomohle has through his thorough unparalleled service to fatherland, demonstrated his patriotism and incorruptibility, he should be supported to push his reform agenda through.
–Dr.Ichado, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abuja